The Conformist (1970) - full transcript
This story opens in 1938 in Rome, where Marcello has just taken a job working for Mussollini and is courting a beautiful young woman who will make him even more of a conformist. Marcello is going to Paris on his honeymoon and his bosses have an assignment for him there. Look up an old professor who fled Italy when the fascists came into power. At the border of Italy and France, where Marcello and his bride have to change trains, his bosses give him a gun with a silencer. In a flashback to 1917, we learn why sex and violence are linked in Marcello's mind.
Everything all right?
What do you mean she's gone? She's gone, too?
I'll be waiting in front of the hotel. Right away.
Who could have guessed a thing like that, sir?
When he got down into the street, it was still dark.
Then the front door opened again, and she came out, too.
I thought she must have come down to say goodbye to him.
Instead, she opens the door of the car,
makes the dog get in, gets in herself, and they're off.
Aren't you listening, sir?
Damn it. This is something we didn't want. Anyway,
as far as I'm concerned, I followed the instructions.
You've made up your mind?
What do you think marriage will get you?
I don't know. The impression of normalcy.
- Normalcy. - Yes. Stability, security.
In the morning when I'm dressing in the mirror I see myself.
And compared to everyone else, I feel I'm different.
What do you see in Giulia?
It may be her body, her sensuality.
Yes? And she?
The minute we're alone she wants to fool around.
- And then? - It usually ends up rolling on the rug.
- And the maid with the big tits? - 0h, she's part of the dowry.
So you're getting married, and I'm losing my best friend.
Anyway, I'm glad.
Two minutes and you're on, Mr. Italo.
You're sure he's arriving?
The Colonel? Of course. He'll be here.
He promised. He's very interested.
It's best if you're quiet. It's funny though, you know?
Everyone would like to be different from the others,
but instead you want to be the same as everyone else.
Ten years ago, my father was in Munich.
Often after the theater, he told me that
he'd go with friends to a Bierstube.
There was a nutty funny man...
He spoke about politics.
He was quite an attraction.
They'd buy him beer and encourage him.
He'd stand up on the table making furious speeches.
It was Hitler.
Ladies and gentlemen, that was "Who's Happier Than I"
by Cesare Andrea Bixio.
We conclude our program of popular music
with Arcangeli and his Orchestra.
The singers were Silvana Fioresi, Oscar Carboni,
Lina Termini and 'The Swallows!
We bring you now "Mystique of an Alliance';
a talk by Italo Montanari.
Italy and Germany, two strongholds of light.
In the course of centuries,
all their encounters mark a turning point
in the course of world history.
Today, by virtue of their two leaders, these two peoples are rediscovering
their ancient virtues.
Virtues that embody similarity and reciprocity
that have been long forgotten,
that which Goebbels calls "the Prussian aspect"
of Benito Mussolini,
and that we call "the Latin aspect" of Adolf Hitler.
Italy and Germany, bringing the world
two great anti-parliamentarian and anti-democratic revolutions.
Please stay seated, my dear Clerici.
Is there any news for me?
Your personal record is really excellent.
Then I'm hired?
Such decisions must be taken slowly.
Yes, I understand.
Civil servant, well-educated in classics, good future career,
and Comrade Montanari has recommended you.
One morning you come to the ministry.
You arrive at my office with your bright and shining face,
you make a specific proposal.
The office of the Minister!
Did you ever ask yourself why people want to collaborate with us?
Some do it out of fear,
most of them for the money.
For faith in Fascism, very few.
But you, no.
I feel that you're not governed by any of these reasons.
And when may I expect a reply?
I hope very soon.
...undermining the strength of revolutionary ideals and Fascist faith...
I must ask myself what your aim is.
I stand prepared to go, as soon as you decide.
I'll introduce you to the Minister.
- At your service. - I advise the Secretary. The Minister's expecting us.
Is this the first time you're seeing the Minister?
When I explained your plan to him, the first thing he said was, "Superb.
Get to Professor Quadri and you inspire his faith in you.
You join his circle and try to discover who his contacts in Italy are."
Yes, yes, superb!
And even more important, spontaneous!
- And also, voluntary. - Voluntary agency.
For repressing Anti-Fascism.
You've got to try and understand women.
Say she had decided to stay in Paris. She could have, no?
"Animula vagula blandula
hospes comesque corporis."
I'm sorry, I didn't get that.
It's nothing. It's Latin.
Five seconds, four seconds,
three seconds, two seconds, one second.
The correct time at the signal was 1:00 p.m.
Marcello, aren't you giving them to me?
Today I absolutely need your flowers.
Give them here. For you.
You know what I was thinking? I really must go to a fortune teller.
I want to know everything about you.
Why are you standing there?
But, Marcello, we're engaged, what's wrong with it?
My uncle brought something from America.
What is it?
Mama made out a list of invitations.
- Want to see it? - No, I trust her.
I was talking to Don Lattanzi.
If you want to marry, you go to Communion,
and before that, you go to Confession.
Otherwise he says he cannot marry us.
I don't believe in it.
Ninety percent of the people who go to church today don't believe.
The priests don't either.
All right, if you want me to, I'll even confess.
I love you.
If you want to...
- If I want to... - Yes, right here.
On the floor, on the carpet. Want to?
Better think about the priest.
He may not grant absolution.
They grant everyone absolution.
After all, it will be so soon... our honeymoon.
Have you decided yet, where?
But I can't tell you anything yet.
It's a surprise.
- A surprise? - A surprise?!
Yes, yes, I adore surprises.
Giulia, leave us alone.
- Marcello, someone has it in for us... - Come and eat!
An anonymous letter...
An anonymous letter?!
But you know they're just awful to do this.
Worse than stabbing us in the back.
But what's in the letter?
It arrived this morning and the stamp is from Rome.
Hey, I want to see what's written there.
Read it aloud.Then I'll burn it.
There are such ugly things in it.
"Signora, in permitting your daughter and Mr. Clerici to marry,
you're committing more than an error,
you're committing a crime."
"Signor Clerici's father
has been confined in a mental home, with a brain disease
brought on by syphilis.
As you know, this disease is hereditary.
There's still time to stop this marriage. A friend."
I'd be happy to undergo a check-up.
- Ridiculous. - No. I don't mind a bit.
In Germany, premarital medical tests are obligatory, someone told me.
My boy, you're not just a man,
you're an angel!
You see, the origin of my father's mental illness isn't luetic.
That can be medically confirmed.
By the way, my little girl has had the mumps,
scarlet fever, and German measles.
- They're all very moral maladies. - Yes!
Look here, who are you? Why are you following me?
I wasn't following you.
Evidently, we're both going to the same place.
I'd like to ask you something. Would your name be Clerici?
Yes, I'm Mr. Clerici. And who are you?
I'm Special Agent Manganiello. Sent by the Colonel.
- Thanks. - 'Trees'!
Such disorder. The place looks like a dung heap.
Yes, it's a pity.
Speed up, Manganiello, or we won't catch up with them.
I can't go faster than this, sir. The road is slippery.
Not more than half an hour ahead.
Don't talk so much. Hurry!
My God, it's slippery.
I know. But we must save her, no matter how slippery.
I understand you.
But if we break our necks, where will that get us, sir?
Comrade, the Colonel told me that I have to tell you...
After. Wait here.
Mother. Please cover yourself.
I don't want to see you half nude.
What a son I have. A moralist my son is now.
You know? I had a dream just now.
You came in here by that door, you sat on my bed.
You kissed me actually.
Why aren't you dressed?
What's the time?
It's late. We're going to visit papa.
Why doesn't he die?
All that hospital money we'd save, and I've got so little.
- Sell the car. - No. I'm not going to sell that.
If I do, it means discharging 'Trees'
and I don't want to dismiss him.
I get so lonely in this house.
I want to see him when I please.
Please don't talk to me about your lovers.
What do you mean? There's only one.
And he's much more elegant than your silly fiancée is.
What a toady you are!
No, I'm not selling the car.
I will sell the house.
I want to travel around Europe.
'Trees' was born to travel.
And Rome has become so provincial.
Middle-class children marrying into all kinds of good families.
It's all a lot of horse manure!
- Special Agent Manganiello! - Present!
Does this house look normal to you? A place for normal people?
The Colonel told me that I have to tell you...
For a normal childhood?
The decadence here makes me nauseous.
- Manganiello. - Yes, sir?
Do you see this?
What did the Colonel say?
There's a small change in the program.
On your way to Paris before you cross the frontier,
you must stop at Ventimiglia, Via dei Glicini, number three.
What's at number three, Via dei Glicini?
You'll meet a trusted person called Raoul.
He'll give you further instructions.
How long have you been in the ranks?
I began in 1923.
Turkey, France, Africa, Greece.
- Always into the breach? - I'm always on the move.
All for family and my country.
Your country before the family.
Manganiello, you see that individual?
His name is Ki.
- Ki? - That's him.
'Ki' means 'trees' in Japanese.
Being called 'Trees' isn't normal.
He's a procurer.
He couldn't be my brother, but my mother could be his mother.
I said it doesn't seem normal.
He brings her morphine and uses her as he likes.
'- Trees'? - Yes.
You must understand why I tell you this.
Five minutes and he won't have the time to take a valise.
Tell the Colonel to count on me!
- Hemlock! - Where is he hiding?
You weren't rude to him again, were you?
I? No, he's so charming.
Have you looked in his room?
I've looked everywhere. Even under your bed.
- How are things going, Franz? - Better than yesterday.
- Yesterday, we were bad. - Pretty bad?
Yesterday we were forced to wear our straitjacket.
- And today? - Today is better.
The wind seems to help our inspiration.
I'll never be tired of repeating:
if the State doesn't model itself
on the image of the individual, how will the individual
ever model himself in the image of the State?
Et cetera, et cetera.
Slaughter and melancholy.
Slaughter and melancholy.
Antonio, your son's decided to get married.
Marcello getting married?
Slaughter and melancholy.
The announcement of the wedding.
Stop it. He's your father!
I like it. Sign it.
Read. He's not as crazy as he looks.
May I ask a moment alone with my father?
When I was just a boy,
you used to tell me about your punitive forays.
I don't know, I can't recall anything.
But why are you ashamed? It's important for me.
When you were healthy, you used a big cudgel.
- And did you give castor oil to them? - Yes.
- And didn't you torture them? - Yes.
Didn't you kill? You killed, too?
Go away! Franz! Franz!
Do you believe at all in fate, sir?
Well, two years ago in Africa, after a mission like this,
they tell me at Headquarters, "Did you receive the counter-orders?"
"Hey, what counter-orders?"
Well, in Rome, they decided to suspend the whole thing
because it wasn't necessary.
There's nothing we can do for the woman
even if we get there in time.
You know perfectly well we can't afford any witnesses.
I'll get out!
What's the use of going? You go!
But we have to be there. We have a certain responsibility.
Would you look at that!
Who makes the report otherwise?
Come on, pull it down!
Unbutton his pants!
The police! The police! Come on!
- What's your name? - Marcello Clerici. What's yours?
Pasqualino Semirama. But call me Lino.
How long is it since your last confession?
Since I made my first Holy Communion.
Bad, my son, very bad.
- How old are you? - Thirty-four.
And all this time you have lived like an animal?
Tell me, which sins have you committed?
I've committed them all. Even the worst sin.
- All? - All. Even murder.
Murder? And you didn't feel the need to confess?
You didn't feel the need to rush to confession?
I was 13.
Well, what were your friends trying to do?
They're just stupid.
- What did they want from you? - Nothing.
All right, then, what present?
- A cap pistol? - No, a real one.
I have one, too. A Mauser.
You want it? If you want it, I'll give it to you.
- Where is it? - It's in my room. Come.
I have a pretty oriental kimono, too.
- Do you know who Madame Butterfly is? - Where are we going?
Go on, tell me. What did he want from you?
I didn't know what. He was so much like a woman.
- A woman? - I felt him trembling.
Well, what happened? Kisses?
Are you sure you're telling me the truth?
And what happened there between you? Carnal relations?
Shoot. What are you waiting for? Go on, shoot.
Kill the pretty butterfly!
- Now you must tell me the details. - No, that's enough, please.
It's almost as though the Church thinks sodomy
is a more mortal sin than killing somebody.
I won't permit such insolence.
You are forgetting that I happen to be the priest,
and you the sinner.
After that once, did you have sexual relations with other men?
No. All the rest were normal.
Which means what?
A brothel when I was 18.
Since then, relationships only with women.
This in your opinion is a sexual life that's normal?
Yes. But why?
But you, my son, have always lived in sin.
Normal means matrimony, having a wife, family.
That's what I want.
Bravo, bravo, bravo.
I'm going to build a life that's normal.
I'm marrying a petty bourgeois.
Then she must be a fine girl.
Speak out. Go ahead!
A mound of petty ideas.
Full of petty ambitions.
She's all bed and kitchen.
You mustn't use such expressions.
I intend to construct my normality, but it won't be easy.
- Stay within religion... - Outside religion!
God is so bountiful. The Virgin is so maternal.
Christ is so merciful to us all.
And the priest is so blessed with understanding.
You haven't demonstrated any horror at my crime yet.
You are just...
...surprised because I didn't run to confession right away.
The one thing you have to do is repent humbly,
ask His pardon.
I've already repented. I want to be excused by society.
I want to confess today the sin I'll commit tomorrow.
One sin atones for another.
It is the price I must pay society. And I shall pay it.
Are you a part of some new sect?
Do you belong to a group of subversives?
I belong to a group that tracks down all the subversives.
Ego te absolvo
a peccatis tuis.
Long live the bridegroom!
Long live the bridegroom!
- When is the wedding? - Next Sunday.
The bride, why didn't you bring her?
What's her name?
Let's drink to the end of bachelorhood!
- We have biscuits, too? - Crackers as well.
Only a drop. Pour me just a drop.
It goes to my head quickly.
I'm having a big mouthful!
Let's dance now!
- This party touched my heart. - People wanted to meet you.
- Never mind. It's just a tray. - It's a lucky sign.
You know, they're so excitable.
Whenever there is a seeing man among us, people get excited.
- I'm going on a mission. - Good!
Your introduction was precious.
- I appreciate it. - I am never refused.
Music! Come on, let's play!
Hey, folks, they are waiting to speak with the Duce.
Suddenly a frightful scream is heard.
Leave me alone...
- That's enough. - I didn't do anything wrong...
Senigallia, where are you? Started again?
Last time's lesson wasn't enough for you? Stop crying.
I'll play for you the last foxtrot by Maestro Delerue.
What do you get out of working for the OVRA?
I get the feeling I'm finally back
to the normal state I mentioned to you.
- What do you think a normal man is like? - A normal man?
For me, a normal man is one
who turns his head to look at a beautiful woman's bottom.
And he finds out he isn't the only one to have turned his head.
There are at least 5-6 people doing that,
and he is glad to find people who are like him, his equals.
That's why he likes crowded beaches,
football, the bars downtown...
The huge gatherings in Piazza Venezia.
He likes people similar to himself
and does not trust those who are different.
That's why a normal man is a true brother, a true citizen,
- a true patriot, a true... - A true Fascist.
You haven't ever wondered how come we're friends?
Since we're... different from the others.
We are two of a kind.
Marcello... Are you here?
What's the matter, you don't agree? I know you do.
I am never wrong.
"Listen. Rain from scattered clouds.
Rains on the tamarisks briny and singeing,
rain on the pines scaly and bristly,
rain on the divine myrtles...
...rain on our bare hands,
on our light clothes,
on the fresh thoughts that the new soul reveals,
on the beautiful tale that deceived you yesterday,
that is deceiving me today, oh Hermione."
Marcello, I am unworthy of you.
Marcello, I am unworthy of you.
Yes, yes. I don't deserve you.
You sound the same as your mother.
I have something to tell you, but please look out there.
If you look, I'll be ashamed.
Maybe afterwards you won't love me anymore,
but I've got to tell you.
You know, what you think of me isn't true.
You think I'm a virgin. I'm not.
What do you think of me now?
I didn't marry you because I thought you're still a virgin.
Dearest, I know your mentality's modern,
but then I felt I should tell you the truth.
I forgot to mention it.
At Ventimiglia, we'll get off. I've got an appointment.
But I have to tell you the whole thing.
You were in love with someone before you met me, that's all. Who was it?
He was a man of 60. A very disgusting old man.
A friend of my family's.
- Who is it? - It's the Advocate Perpuzio.
- But he's one of our witnesses. - He insisted on it.
But how was I going to say no?
- Six years it went on. - Six years?
Pardon, monsieur. We'll be in Ventimiglia in a few minutes.
- This is number three, Via dei Glicini? - Number three.
You lost, give us the money!
Who is it?
He looked to me like he might be an officer in civvies!
This isn't a museum. Go inside, go inside!
I'll send the others down right away.
I'm crazy, a complete maniac.
Again! Say it again.
The gentleman is a friend of Signor Raoul's.
Go on! Say it!
I'm crazy, a complete maniac.
What are you doing wasting time?
What do you mean?
Professor Quadri's activities in France
have become interfering and provocative.
It's become necessary to make an example of him.
You ought to get in contact and inspire a confidence in him
and get information.
- But now... - But now?
There's a counter-order from Rome. All you do is eliminate him.
- That clear? - Very.
The operation will not take place in Paris.
It's up to you to choose the locale and the moment.
It's up to you.
There's nothing more to talk about.
Fine. This means I have no alternative.
It must be quick and decisive! Comrade!
The train for Paris leaves in an hour.
I lost my hat. Where's my hat? Where is it?
Then he entered the room. Slowly.
Finally he stood behind me and said, "What are you doing?
Come and sit here."
"I'm writing my Italian composition", I said.
He grabbed me by my hair.
And then, imagine, I used to call him 'uncle'.
He unbuttoned my blouse then.
I was well-developed at 15.
He began to squeeze me harder and harder until I almost fainted.
And then, I don't know. I was suddenly on the bed.
He was on top of me.
Then I understood everything and all my strength left me.
Did you like it?
- I lay there passive. - And then?
He did everything to me he wanted.
I cried so much, and in order to console me,
he said he was absolutely, absolutely crazy about me.
I would like Medicis, 1537.
- Length nine and width... - I'll wait.
Who are you telephoning to? One, two, three...
- A man with a hump. - Hunchbacks bring good luck!
Five and six.
Six by nine ought to amount to 54 meters square, isn't it?
He was my professor at the university.
We named him Smerdjakov.
But his was the only class that was crowded.
All the freshman girls were in love with him.
Please, in a few minutes will you ring it for me?
The year I was supposed to graduate, they gave him the castor oil.
He won't remember me after nine years.
I had to go and ask him for my thesis.
He asked me if I was a Fascist.
And what did you answer?
I didn't bother to answer him.
He told me it would be impossible for him
to teach philosophy in a Fascist country.
This is Clerici. I was a student of yours back in Rome,
and I'd like to see you again.
Of course, Professor. I came about my graduate thesis.
It was the year that you stopped teaching.
I don't remember your name.
It was so long ago. Clerici, you said?
Yes. And you said to me... I remember that so well,
you said, "The time for reflection is over for me.
Now begins the time for action."
- And you want to see me? - Yes.
I don't have any precise reason.
They still speak about you in Rome.
And I'd like to see you, that's all.
Let's see. Could you come over to my house?
Today if you like, after lunch. Come and have a coffee.
I'm honeymooning in Paris.
- Would it be all right if I brought my wife? - Yes, yes...
Of course. Seventeen Rue Saint Jacques.
- I'll see you later then. - Thank you.
He has a nice voice. Not like a hunchback's.
What shall I wear? Street clothes or really get dressed up?
But why bother?
He'll be a typical intellectual, disagreeable and impotent.
How do you know that?
I don't really. My uncle used to always say that.
- Uncle Perpuzio! - Laugh, laugh.
Only he's the one who sent the anonymous letter.
Cut that out!
Answer that. Say I'm not in.
- But what if they speak French? - No, they'll speak Italian.
- Answer the phone! - Yes...
No, he's not in.
Very well, I'll tell him.
He said he'd call back this afternoon.
Funny name, Manganiello.
- Yes, what is it? - I'm Monsieur Clerici.
- You've got the wrong apartment. - No, I'm not wrong.
The Professor is expecting them. Tell him. I'll take care.
Get away, Marcello!
Get away! He'll bite you! Run!
Get down! Sit down!
You're Monsieur Clerici, aren't you?
- Nothing to be afraid of. - I'm not a bit frightened.
Well then, come up. He won't bite my friends.
Funny, usually dogs like me.
Is this the first time you're visiting Paris?
- Do you like it? - Yes. It's so pretty.
The station, the hotel, and now here.
- Please. - Thank you.
If you like, later I could show you a bit of the town.
Really? And then when you come to Italy,
I can show you around Rome.
The piazzas, the churches, the museums...
What are they not coming? The coffee will get cold.
Come on, boys, the coffee's getting cold.
I wonder why she seems so hostile.
Does she seem hostile? But she's nice to me.
She acts like she knows me a hundred years.
She seems to be angry with me. I never met her.
Don't even know who she is.
She's married to Professor Quadri.
She's young enough to be his daughter.
Didn't you hear her saying, "My husband's inside"?
- She said "my husband"? - But certainly.
No, I don't agree. Printing in the shop is too expensive.
But we'll never accomplish anything with the mimeograph.
- Thirty thousand copies is no joke... - It always breaks down.
There is a small print shop in Montparnasse.
It's too risky and it costs too much. We might as well buy a printing press.
At least, we can recoup expenses in 3-4 months...
We'll discuss it later. Professor Quadri will decide.
Mr. Clerici, my husband says he apologizes. He's still busy
but he'll see you in a few minutes, all right?
- Yes, I've got time. - He said we might dine tonight.
We'd love to.
Later we might stop at Joinville and dance.
- You agree? - I'm always in for dancing!
Is dancing still allowed in Italy?
Now that I think of it, it's impossible.
'Cause I didn't bring a gown with me.
You know what? I'll go with you and we'll shop together.
- Shouldn't we go immediately? - No. I have a class at school at 3:30.
But we can meet at your hotel if you like at 5:00.
- At what hotel are you? - At the D'Orsay.
- Then we'll see you at 5:00? - No.
Shopping is only for women. Husbands pay.
You mean I can go and you won't mind?
Take him to the Professor.
Come in, come in, Clerici. Did they give you coffee?
- Yes, thank you. - Goodbye. Thank you.
- Giulia. - Yes.
Before you married him, did you go to bed with him?
I'm very curious, Clerici.
You come all this way only to see me?
as soon as you used to enter the classroom
they had to shut the windows.
You couldn't stand all that light, that noise.
Later, I understood why you used to do that.
All these years,
you know what remained most firmly imprinted on my memory?
Imagine a great dungeon in the shape of a cave.
Inside, men who have lived there since childhood,
all chained, and forced to face the back of the cave.
Behind them, far away, the light from a fire flickers.
Between the fire and the prisoners, imagine a low wall
similar to that little stage
on which a puppeteer shows his puppets.
That was November 1928.
Yes, I remember.
Now try and imagine some other men
passing behind that little wall
bearing statues made of wood and stone.
The statues are higher than that wall.
You couldn't have brought me a better gift than these memories.
The enchained prisoners of Plato.
And how they resemble us.
- And what do they see? - What do they see?
You who come from Italy should know from experience.
They see only the shadows the fire makes
on the back of the cavern that faces them.
Shadows. The reflections of things.
Like what's happening to you people now in Italy.
Say those prisoners were at liberty and could speak out.
Mightn't they call the shadows they see reality, not visions?
Yes. They would mistake for reality, the shadows of reality.
The myth of the great cave.
That was the graduate thesis you proposed to do for me.
- Did you finish it afterwards? - You departed. I used a different theme.
I'm truly sorry, Clerici. I had so much faith in you.
- In all of you. - No, I don't believe it.
If that were true, you'd never have left Rome.
That's fine. Go on!
Go on. Move faster.
Move faster. Move faster.
Move faster. Move faster.
At the point we had reached there was no other choice.
All we could do was emigrate. We wanted everyone
to be able to feel in our disdain and in our rebellion as exiles,
the meaning of our struggle, the historical meaning.
Beautiful words, but you left and I became a Fascist.
Excuse me, Clerici,
but a confirmed Fascist doesn't talk like that.
Yes? Yes, it's me. Yes. Go ahead.
One lover? Only one?
"She'd Iain on straw strewn on the floor
For a ruddy red-haired pimping rake.
A garlic-reeking Jewish score Who with Formosa on his wake
Kept her Shanghaied as his whore."
You really will lend me these foxes?
Of course. Keep them as long as you like.
Wait for me. I'll be right back.
Do you often go around people's houses spying?
Stop talking to me in French!
I met a woman with your eyes.
- Where? - Ventimiglia.
The resemblance is unbelievable.
- And who was she? - A prostitute.
- Did she kiss well? - It would be like kissing you.
- How did it end up then? - It didn't.
I embraced her and that was it.
I was left with this great desire to find her again.
- Why are you so hostile? - Because I'm sincere.
Over here she had a scar.
No! No! Let me go! Bastard!
Who knows what it's for?
But it isn't gold the way I imagined.
From here it's almost as small as the one I have on my night table.
They say at least once a month,
some lover throws himself off. How stupid.
- You want to go to the Tower? - Yes.
Yes. I'm glad we're going up the Eiffel Tower.
Quick! To the Eiffel Tower. Ciao!
And you? Marcello!
Now, supple. Go on. Hup!
Héléne, chin up.
Try it again now.
Watch your knees, Denise.
Take a breath.
It's starting to look good, isn't it?
Feet well together, my dear.
Your points out.
Eyes still, Margot.
Don't be afraid. There you go, bravo!
Take a five minutes' break.
Thank you, madam.
- Is there some place to talk? - Here.
- No, not here. - Why not?
I have some friends in Brazil.
I'll leave everything if you come with me.
I, on the other hand, have friends in Italy.
I received a letter. Read it.
"If you ever get this letter, it will be in spite of the prison censors."
You must never make the gesture as quick as this.
Why did you stop? Go on.
"They come suddenly in the night and kick the door of my cell
so as not to let me sleep."
- Why do...? - Continue.
Why do you make me read this letter?
I'll tell you in a bit.
"Then, there are the false executions.
They sent me the priest three times already
and I refused extreme unction.
They gave me castor oil again, but they should realize
that after almost 20 years,
I'm used to it. It has no effect."
Why must I read this letter?
You want me to tell you?
Because you're a Fascist! A spy!
Do you know how they call people like you here? Snitches.
Does your husband know?
Why do you think you were received?
You're only a worm.
You revolt me! You're disgusting!
I'm getting Giulia at the hotel.
We'll be on the first train home.
You'd never do it. You're too much of a coward.
Marcello! Hold me.
Marcello, I'm frightened.
Marcello, please don't hurt us.
Swear it! Swear it, please.
I don't know.
Giulia, look at this.
Anna! Come here!
It's a surprise!
Look at that color. It's a dream!
Come and look at this one. Here.
Anna! It's divine!
Look how beautiful it is! Just look!
Giulia, come on.
It's very big, all in wood, with enormous beds.
The house belonged to my grandfather.
Luca and I used to go there often.
But now with what's going on in Spain, we don't leave Paris any longer.
All right, Roby! That's enough!
The Savoie is beautiful. I can't wait to get back.
Come on, I know you're back there.
Why don't you want to see me?
I've been running after you all day.
And it's freezing here, damn it.
You ought to come out and have a chat now.
What is it you're worrying about?
We'll talk about it.
I have my job responsibilities, you know.
The time's passing.
What else are we waiting for? You must have a plan by now.
You haven't stood still for an instant.
May I say you ought to be following him, not his wife.
There's no point in screaming like that at the birds, you know.
They don't understand Italian. Damn!
He thinks there are Italian birds in Paris.
God damn it. Sir!
I do understand you.
But the operation must be quick and decisive.
Girls don't love us anymore
because we wear black shirt...
You don't mind if we stay like this a bit?
How silly you are.
After all, remember what you yourself said a while ago,
"If I weren't married," you said.
Yes, I might have said that. But I am married.
It doesn't mean a thing.
You have to understand married to whom.
But I like him.
Let's try on my new frock.
No. Don't move. I want to dress you.
How strange you are. You want to be my maid now?
What difference does it make? It's my pleasure.
Please, don't look at me. I'm embarrassed.
There's nothing wrong with it. I'm a woman just as you are.
Yes, but you look at me in a way...
How much I love Paris!
When Marcello sees it!
Violets? Violets, monsieur?
Do you want violets?
These are real Parma violets.
- They're really from Parma? - Absolutely.
Let me have one.
"Arise, ye prisoners of starvation!"
Arise, ye prisoners of starvation
Arise, ye wretched of the Earth
For justice thunders condemnation
A better world's in birth
No more tradition's chains shall bind us
Arise ye slaves, no more in thrall
The earth shall rise on new foundations
We have been naught, we shall be all
'Tis the final conflict
Let each stand in his place
Shall be the human race
'Tis the final conflict
Let each stand in his place
Shall be the human race
- Come. - What's the matter?
- Do you like real Parma violets? - They're not for me.
I want you to have them.
You couldn't have known I'd be at the hotel.
They're for Giulia.
It's for you I bought them.
Giulia will be beautiful tonight.
Half past eight at the hotel.
You know, I'm sad.
Since we've arrived in Paris, we haven't made love yet.
Your knees are sharp.
Here's news for you.
The Quadris have a house in the Savoie.
The Professor leaves tomorrow morning by car
while Anna stays here.
Only for a day or so, then she's planning to join her husband
and wants us to visit with them in the mountains.
I have the address.
Nice, don't you think so?
She told me they have enormous beds in their villa
which make awful noise!
And she says there are big, big forests in the neighborhood
where no one ever passes.
Anna told me you can even make love in the snow.
Can you imagine the Professor wandering around in the woods naked?
You had me convinced you were the typical new Italian.
No such type exists yet, but we're creating him.
- Through repression? - No, through example.
Giving him castor oil? Throwing him into prison?
By torturing them? Blackmailing?
Anna. Please, calm down.
Clerici is a Fascist, I'm an Anti-Fascist.
We both knew about it.
And we decided to have supper together all the same.
- And get the wives drunk. - The old professor and his ex-pupil...
- Giulia, what's the matter? - ...find each other again in a Chinese restaurant...
- And yet I'm willing to bet... - God, I've drunk so much!
- ...you may change your mind yet. - Impossible, Professor.
My husband is naive about these things. It's his way of being vain.
I can't forget that Clerici was one of my best students ever.
Really? Tell me. What was Marcello like as a student?
- Serious. Too serious. - Why, you don't have to be serious?
Really serious people are never serious.
Bravo. Giulia, did you ever see your husband laugh?
No. Well... only a few times. That's his nature.
- Nothing the matter with that. - That's not my nature at all.
I've an idea, Clerici. You should both remain here.
You will understand a great deal about many things living here.
For you, it's an important opportunity.
What do you know, Professor?
He's only in Paris to enjoy with his wife.
By the way, did Giulia mention my idea to you?
- We have a lovely guest room... - With an enormous bed!
And from the Savoie you can go back to Italy.
Thank you, but I promised Giulia to show her Paris.
I'm half-drunk already!
That's splendid. My husband will leave tomorrow.
And after you see some more of Paris, we'll join him.
Marcello, tell the truth. Would you like us to go?
But of course I would. They're really so kind.
- Well, all right. - Perhaps Giulia doesn't want to go.
If you don't like me, you can just say so.
Don't embarrass our friends.
- We'll definitely come. Right, Giulia? - Yes.
Let me sit there.
God, it's going around, the whole place.
It's like that restaurant we had on the train...
...with that funny man.
Marcello, will you give me a proof of your friendship?
There's something to be sent. A letter.
To Rome. To a comrade. Only you can help me.
It has to be delivered personally. There's no hurry.
When you get back to Italy from the Savoie.
This might mean prison.
Anyone of my men would risk much more.
Professor, one would say you're doing this purposely,
just to get me into trouble there.
All things considered, Clerici,
- some time in a Fascist jail may be better. - Excuse me.
What is it?
What's wrong with you?
Sir! Watch out!
I'm here to protect you and you want to kill me?
I don't want to kill anyone. Here. I don't want to carry it anymore.
What is this all about?
- You giving up? - No, it's so clumsy.
I don't even know how to use it. It's so heavy.
I want you to look straight at me.
We're in a war, right? You give up, you're a deserter.
Everybody's thought of deserting at least once.
- I wouldn't think of that. - Even I did. Really.
But I said to myself, "Manganiello, why, what are you thinking of?"
It isn't your patriotism,
it isn't your honor you are betraying.
It is really you.
After a while,
I managed a hearty pat on my back, smoked another cigar,
and what did I think? "Let's go.
Fight or be beaten.
Hurry. We're going to dance.
You'll make me fall!
If you were what you say,
you would have agreed to carry that letter
and you would have used it against our friends in Rome.
Well, take a look. There's nothing written.
A little trick to put you to the test.
They must stop dancing.
They're both so pretty.
Well, what's there to stare at?
This is Paris, and I'm a fashionable woman, aren't I?
You're crazy, completely.
Come on! Let's dance!
Everybody, come on!
- He leaves tomorrow by car at dawn. - Wait!
- What about his wife? - She doesn't go.
Better without her.
We'll meet in Rome.
Enjoy the rest of the party!
Who knows what you think of me, Professor?
I'm... really drunk!
It's good for anybody to get drunk once in a while.
You won't believe this.
You upset me, I swear, like you're giving me an exam.
If you're prepared, you don't need to be worried.
Listen. I'll be going tomorrow with my husband.
You must remain.
Please remain in town. Do it for me.
Didn't you decide to go with Giulia and me?
Haven't you observed she can't stand me, your wife?
But Giulia's so stupid. Can't you see she's drunk?
We've all lost our heads a little tonight.
Besides, you're mistaken to say she can't bear you.
She mentioned that she admires you.
- What else did she say? - That she finds you seductive.
I changed my mind.
I'll stay with you in Paris. Glad?
Anna! The Professor is propositioning me!
I feel so happy that in a minute I know I'm going to feel terrible!
Damn. I'm getting sleepy.
I won't let go my rifle, cried the wounded soldier...
- Manganiello. - Yes, sir.
- I've just had a strange dream. - You did?
I was blind.
And you were taking me to a hospital in Switzerland
to have an operation.
Switzerland. It's beautiful.
And Professor Quadri did the operation.
The operation was a success, I recovered my sight
and I was leaving with the Professor's wife. And she loved me.
I remember in Milan
when I was a child, we used to sing a song.
Wait a minute...
Switzerland, Switzerland and its cantons!
In Africa, after all that work and four men dead,
we discovered it was no longer necessary.
And my superior, "You have ruined me!
You're only beasts, you are!"
"Now wait a second," I said. "We are men, not beasts."
That woman should have returned to her bed.
- Love can certainly... - What are you trying to say?
No. Nothing, sir.
No. I was saying that sometimes love can even perform miracles.
It's them, isn't it?
Keep about 60 feet back.
There's a car behind us.
- So? - Following us.
Nothing the matter with that. Why are you so nervous?
- What... - Watch out!
Must be something the matter.
Don't get out, please, I beg you!
- Well, why not? - I don't know, but I'm frightened.
We can't just sit here like this.
I thought you were ill.
What is it? What do you want from me?
Look out, I'm shooting.
How disgusting. I've always said so.
Make me work in the shit, sure, but not with a coward.
If it's up to me, cowards, homosexuals and Jews,
they're all the same thing.
If it were up to me, I'd stand them all against the wall.
Better yet, eliminate them when they're born.
- His Majesty King Vittorio Emanuele - Papa...
has accepted the resignation of His Excellency Benito Mussolini
as head of the government, Prime Minister and Secretary of State.
- His Majesty has named as head of the government, - Goodnight.
Prime Minister and Secretary of State,
His Excellency Marshal Pietro Badoglio.
How elegant you are with your mama's hat on!
You even put on the foxes Mama brought from Paris.
Good for Marta!
King Vittorio Emanuele has accepted the resignation
of His Excellency Benito Mussolini
as head of the government, Prime minister and Secretary of State,
and His Majesty has named as head of the government,
Prime minister and Secretary of State,
His Excellency Marshal Pietro Badoglio.
Up you go!
Up, up, up!
A red apple.
Ready? Hail Mary, full of grace...
"Hail Mary, full of grace..."
- the Lord is with Thee. - "The Lord is with Thee."
- Blessed art Thou amongst women... - "Blessed art Thou amongst women..."
...and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus.
"...the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus."
Holy Mary, Mother of God...
"Holy Mary, Mother of God..."
...pray for us sinners...
"...pray for US Sinners...
- ...now and at the hour of our death. - "...now and at the hour..."
- Italo called. - "...of our death."
- Amen. - "Amen."
- Now, lie down and sleep. - No!
- Italo? - Yes. Italo.
- What did he want? - He'll expect you at the usual place.
Italo. After all this time.
How awful they all are, these beggars!
Getting drunk because the King threw out Mussolini,
when yesterday they were all for him.
I can't wait till we get them out of here.
Why see Italo? What's the use of it?
If he called it means he needs me, and I'm going.
I was always the one who took him around.
I took him everywhere.
He used to say that when I described things to him
it was like seeing them with his own eyes.
Go to sleep.
Marcello, you've got to take care.
What do you mean?
Wait, listen. What are you going to do now?
The same as everyone else who thought like me.
When there are so many of us, there's no risk.
I know, but I want to say the business with Quadri...
I don't know what you're talking about.
In Paris, Anna,
maybe in order to get me away from you,
told me you worked for the secret police.
- And you? What did you answer? - That it wasn't important.
That I was your wife and I loved you.
And if you worked for them, it was a good thing.
But then, when the Quadris were killed,
how scared I became.
And what do you think of it now?
Well, I think that, after all,
it was an important step in your career.
Marcello, don't go out!
They could hurt you.
I won't be in danger.
After all, what have I done? My duty.
But why do you want to go?
I want to see how a dictatorship falls.
- The candles! Where did you put them? - How should I know?
Mama! Where are you? I'm afraid.
I'm here, darling. I'm coming.
There's something that's still stuck to you.
- Where? - Here.
Hey, you jerks!
What about eating?
As long as there are cats around, I manage.
They say cat meat tastes like rabbit.
Too bad we didn't meet yesterday.
I had a pastry cream 'baba' at home.
- With real cream? - Yes, why not?
- You need eggs for that. - I have a friend living in the country.
He sends me bread, too.
Fresh eggs? Bread?
He keeps me supplied. I never lack for anything in my house.
Butter, fresh cheese, and chickens sometimes.
- And potatoes? Maybe roast potatoes? - Potatoes, too.
If you come home with me, we'll make an omelet.
- What kind? - A jelly omelet.
You must be tired of eating cats all the time.
Yes. I ate too many of them. And they're not so easy to find.
- What did you do? - I have mice left.
There are more rats with the cats gone.
Yes, but they're all skin and bones.
Listen. I don't live far from here.
Why don't you come and have dinner with me?
- Is there a place to sleep? - You can stay.
Nice shoes you have. Soft.
They were a present.
I got a present, too. A Siamese cat.
- Was he good? - Too tough.
I have a pair of suede shoes. You can have them.
And I have a nice oriental kimono. Like Madame Butterfly's.
You know who Madame Butterfly is?
- Is your name Lino? You! - Me? Yes.Why?
You were a chauffeur, right?
- But along time ago. - Yes.
- You had a pistol. - I? I don't understand you.
And you're alive still.
But I don't know you. What do you want of me?
What's that scar?
- There was an accident. - What accident?
I don't know who you are! Take your hands off me!
Where were you?
- What were you doing on March 25,1917? - Me?
Who are you? You must be crazy.
What were you doing on March 25,1917?
Let me alone!
And the 15th of October, 1938?
Where were you? What were you doing?
What were you doing at 4:00 p.m. on October 15, 1938?
- Let me go! - Where were you?
- What were you doing? I've got to know. - Let me go!
He killed a man, a political exile,
on October 15th, 1938!
Yes, Professor Quadri!
And his wife Anna Quadri.
He's a homosexual, a Fascist!
- And his name is Pasqualino! - Marcello...
Marcello, don't do that.
Marcello, where are you?
- Fascist! - No, Marcello!
- He too is a Fascist. Right here. - What are you doing?
- What are you doing this for? - This one's a Fascist.
No, Marcello, please.
Marcello, no! Why are you doing this?
Italo Montanari! Fascist!
Are you crazy?
Marcello, where are you? Please, come back here.